What is a Will & Why is it Important?
When you are young, you do not expect to die anytime soon. Therefore, you probably don’t think about things like retirement, savings, and a will. Unfortunately, none of us know when we will die, so leaving these crucial responsibilities for later can hurt our loved ones if we die prematurely. Premature death is common and unfortunate. The US life expectancy is 75, so premature death is when someone dies before the age of 75. Additionally, 20-40% of premature deaths are preventable.
While some deaths are preventable, sometimes it is too late. One of the essential documents anyone can ever complete is a will. Hickey & Hull Law Partners can help you write your will and ensure your loved ones receive their gifts after you die.
What Is a Will?
A will is a document created, designed, and signed by an individual who specifies those who should receive a person's assets. It is essential to have a will. If you do not create one beforehand, the state is responsible for dividing your estate. Since the state is unaware of familial relations, they split the assets among living family members. The chances are that the way the state will divide your assets is not the way you would have wanted them split.
Therefore, creating a will is crucial to have authority over which family members will receive particular gifts. When making your will, you need to include four main parts:
- The names of the people or organizations to inherit your assets after your death.
- A trusted person to carry out the wishes of your will.
- Name an authorized person(s) who will take care of minor children and pets.
- Your signature and the witnesses’ signature
Each of these pieces will expedite the transfer of assets and property after your death. You need to have at least two witnesses with you when signing your will. Neither of these witnesses can be beneficiaries in the will. Their signature and witnesses testify that you were of your right mind and signed your will on your own accord.
Why Is a Will Important for Estate Planning?
A will guarantees appropriate distribution of your assets (including property, heirlooms, and anything else) to your loved ones. The will for your estate planning is a binding legal document that necessitates probate court.
When you create one, your property and the will become public record. Therefore, contents in the will must go through a probate court. While a probate lawyer is expensive, it is the best way to ensure everyone receives what is due.
Understanding probate court is critical when considering guardianship for minors. If you do not appoint a family member as guardian, the state will appoint someone in court, like your surviving spouse.
Creating a will as soon as you turn 18 is not too early. You can adjust and change things over the years. It guarantees you can leave your loved ones with everything you want them to have when you die.
Hickey & Hull Law Partners has an estate planning attorney who can assist you in writing your will. We will help you make sure you’ve included everything you want to include. Likewise, we can assist your loved ones in the probate process when the time comes for them to receive their assets, personal property, valuables, and guardianship.